Toddler Tuesday – Let’s learn about the Letter A!

Toddler Tuesday – Let’s learn about the Letter A!

Good morning and happy Toddler Tuedsay!
If you’re just joining us this is a weekly link up where moms can share anything baby, toddler or kid related.  Milestones, activities, recipes, the possibilities with kids are endless!

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Toddler Tuesday – Father’s Day Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year when we get to spoil the special men in our lives!  If yours is anything like mine, he’s not that easy to shop for.  He’s the type of guy that already has everything and says he wants nothing.  Birthday’s and Christmas can be pretty difficult but Father’s Day (for now at least) is actually kind of fun!  Finding cute gifts that The Love Nugget can make to give him is much more fun than searching the mall and the internet for hours trying to find that one perfect gift for my hard to shop for husband.  Yesterday we spent the morning making him a special gift that I will have to share later since he’ll be reading and we don’t want to give it away!  So instead of sharing what we did this year, I thought I’d share some cute ideas I’ve been seeing around the web lately.

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Christmas celebrations 1 & 2

Christmas celebrations 1 & 2

Hi guys!

I hope you all have a wonderful past few days and enjoyed whatever it was your were celebrating!  We had such a fun and busy past few days that I’m going to have to break into a few different posts for you.

We began our Christmas celebrations with my family coming to our house on Sunday for lots of fun and lots of love 🙂

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The Love Nugget was excited to have so many people over and he was being quite the ham but we managed to get an okay family picture.

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We decided to keep it pretty low-key with appetizers, sweets (which I forgot to get a picture of) and of coarse, holiday beverages!

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I mentioned before how much my family loves to play games when we get together so I led everyone in a fun Christmas game I found here.

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Everyone was drawing a holiday scene on their paper plates while they were on their heads.  This is only half the group that was playing.  With a large crowd it was pretty funny!

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 We also played a hilarious game of Guesstures.  One of our favorites!

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 They hubby gets really into it but… his team lost (mine won!)  We’re not competitive at all 😉

Besides games, there were also presents that somebody loved!  It’s funny to look back at these first pictures compared to pictures from the end of the week because he was so cautious in the beginning while opening his gifts.  Towards the end there was tissue paper and wrapping paper being tossed everywhere!

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The adults did a gift exchange which was fun!

The Love Nugget had such a fun time playing with his new presents and spending time with family and so did everyone else.

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The Love Nugget and Grammie

The next day since my mom was there, the hubby and I headed to the gym to get in a quick workout.  It’s been ages since we’ve done a workout together and it was a lot of fun!  Since he’s super into crossfit right now and I’ve been wanting to try it, we did a crossfit workout from Blonde Ponytail.com

Fitness Friday: BEAST Mode - Blonde Ponytail

It was a good one and I surprised myself with the weight I was able to use.

We came home, cleaned up and then got on the road to head to our next Christmas!

As I mentioned the other day, this year was a little tough with my grandma being gone.  She loved Christmas and ever year we all looked forward to going to their house, opening stockings, opening gifts, enjoying good food and lots of great company. Despite it being a pretty tough day, especially for my Grandpa, it was also a fun day.

The kids painted some ornaments we made.

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Yes, my nephew has a Mohawk shaved in his head.  That would be my brothers doing…

The Love Nugget ran around playing and enjoying family.

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We enjoyed watching them open gifts from Great Grandpa and did a fun gift exchange with the cousins.  We also posed for some pictures 🙂

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My brothers and I

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The grandkids and Grandpa

It turned out to be a fun day and the best part was receiving a special gift from my grandfather.

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My grandmother loved to craft and made lots of Christmas ornaments which she often gifted to others.  While setting up for Christmas this year, my cousin and grandpa found a few boxes of handmade Christmas ornaments the my grandmother had made.  So we were all gifted a special ornament to have a little memory of grandma on our tree every year 🙂

It was a pretty good few days and it was only just beginning!  Stay tuned for the rest of our festivities tomorrow!

QUESTIONS –

  • Does your family play games at gatherings? 
  • Do you do gift exchanges at all? 

 

 

 

An Easy Christmas Craft and Vegan Fudge Recipe!

An Easy Christmas Craft and Vegan Fudge Recipe!

It’s almost Christmas!

Are you ready?  Excited?  Anxious!  We’re having my family over tomorrow which will probably be 13-15 people.  Thankfully everyone was okay with just doing appetizers and bringing a dish so I have less cooking to do the day of.  It’s much for fun to relax, play games and enjoy company than to be in the kitchen cooking half the time.  When ever I’m hosting a get together, I start planning weeks in advance.  Prepping to-do lists, menu ideas, grocery lists, etc.  Then just a few days before, I get out all my serving dishes I’m going to use, and start preparing what ever food I can do ahead.  Usually the day before is cleaning and setting up the tables, bar, setting out plates, silverware and glasses.  I’ve learned that starting early means less for me to do the day of and way less stress 🙂

Before I forget, the winner of the delicious, healthy chocolate bars from Lily’s Sweets was Amy at Ahealthyhappyheart.  Congrats sweetie!  Send me your info and I’ll get your chocolates in the mail for you 🙂

Yesterday I spent most the day baking away.  I love to bake during the holidays and no matter how organized I try to be, I end up being a crazy multitasker and doing way to much at one time.  I also squeezed in some time to finish up a craft project the Love Nugget and I have been working on.

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Simple salt dough ornaments

1 cup flour

1 cup salt

1/2 cup water

Mix flour and salt together then slowly add in water.  If the mixture is too sticky, add a little more flour.  If it’s too dry, add a little more water.  Once you have a dough formed, remove from the bowl and lightly knead on a floured surface.  Roll into a ball then roll out into a flat 1/4 inch thick disk.  Cut out desired shapes and poke a small hole to hang them with.  Then, place onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in an oven heated to 250 degrees for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. or until hardened.  Allow to cool for several hours or over night.

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Once they are completely cooled, you can paint them however you’d like.  We used tempura paint and poster paint which are pretty much the same thing.  If you’d like to seal the paint you can spray a little clear sealant or even hair spray!

The Love Nugget had a great time helping to cut them out,

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and painting them.

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Along with finishing up crafting and baking a few recipes I found online, I came up with a really yummy recipe I wanted to share with you.

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Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Vegan Fudge

1 cup All Natural Smooth Peanut Butter

1 cup Powdered Sugar

1/2 cup Coconut Butter

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

2 cups Rice Crispy Cereal

1 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips

1/4 cup All Natural Peanut Butter

1 tbsp. Coconut Oil

Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper.  In a medium saucepan, melt coconut butter and peanut butter over medium high heat.  Add in powdered sugar and sea salt and bring mixture to a boil.  Continue to boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of rice crispy cereal.  Stick into the fridge to set for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and coconut oil in a microwave safe dish on low or a defrost setting.  Remove the peanut butter rice crispy dish from the fridge and pour the chocolate peanut butter over the top.  Place back into the fridge and chill for 2 – 3 hours.  Cut into squares and store in the fridge until ready to enjoy!

These are good…

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Like can’t stop eating them good!

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When the hubby got home, I handed him a large piece to try.  He said, “I don’t want that big of a piece.”  I said, “I think you do, just try it.”  He ate the big piece and said, “wow, those are good!”

Now that I look at the photos I wish I would have sprinkled some coarse ground sea salt on top.   Mmmmm…. peanut butter, chocolate, sea salt.  Devine!

Besides this delicious recipe I also made a few other sweet treats,

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Bourbon truffles rolled in chopped walnuts and toffee.  These were supposed to actually be fudge but it didn’t set up all the way so I improvised 🙂

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls made with Fitmixer protein.

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White Chocolate Cranberry Brownies

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Lemon Coconut bars

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Once I get started baking I feel like I can’t stop!  I always see ONE more thing I want to make.  A little later I also made candy cane brownies and today I’m making fudge for the hubby.  Then it’s time to clean, finish putting together The Love Nugget’s toys and prepping some appetizers for tomorrow!  Can’t wait!

 

 Questions –

  • If you bake for the holidays, do you stick to recipes you know will work or try new ones?
  • Do you celebrate more than one Christmas like we do? 

 

 

 

 

Fitness Friday + a few favorites from the week

Fitness Friday + a few favorites from the week

Happy Friday!

I’m so glad it’s the weekend!  This week was a long one for some reason.  A long, but good one 🙂  Remember how I had made some goals to try to balance my life a little more?  I’ve been doing really good and have been feeling much better lately.  Speaking of those goals and balance, here’s a few favorites from this week.

Painting with the Love Nugget

Taking the Love Nugget to see Santa last weekend, even though he didn’t love it 🙂

 

The Love Nugget and The White Coyote cuddling with our fuzzy blanket,

Making Salt Dough ornaments with The Love Nugget,

Getting together with some of my girlfriends for a Favorite Things party (details to come tomorrow!)

As always, my week of workouts were favorites too!

Saturday – This workout from Itz Linz

Sunday – Rest

Monday – Body pump class at 24 hour

Tuesday – Boot camp

Wednesday – Spin class

Thursday – This at home workout I made up in the early A.M. hours

Warm up –

20 air jump rope

30 jumping jacks

40 high knees

50 butt kicks

Workout –

Side squat with side leg lift 15

Row to tricep kickback 15

Crunches 25

Squat curl press 15

Mountain climbers 30

Plank twist 20 total 10 each side

Calf raises 20 20

Push-ups 15

Bicycles 25

Curtsey lunge with knee up crunch 15 each side

Burpees 15

Russian twist (with weight option)  40

Repeat 2-3 times

It was a good, quick morning workout to wake my tired butt up!

Friday – ???  Something, just not sure what yet 🙂

The Love Nugget and I also have a few errands to run today and after yesterday’s crazy line at the Costco photo center, we’ll be heading out early to try and beat the crowds.  The hubby and I are going to his company Christmas party tomorrow which is always a lot of fun.  They really treat their employee’s like family and put together a fun night of dinner, cocktails, dancing, and then put us all up in a nice hotel for the evening.  Such a fun thing to do during the holiday’s 🙂  The Love Nugget will be spending the weekend with auntie Gigi!  He is so excited!

In case you missed it this week, check out my post on Fitmixer with my 80/20 plan for eating as well as two yummy holiday treats!

Hope you have a great weekend!

ELF 4 Health Challenge today – Workout with a buddy. Grab a friend, your spouse or even your dog!

QUESTIONS –

  • How was your week of workouts? 
  • Any fun favorites from the week you’d like to share? 
  • Have you managed to avoid the Holiday crowds so far this year? 

I’m linking up today for Fitness Friday with Katie at Talk Less, Say More!

 

 

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